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Penn State York to Celebrate 41st Spring Commencement May 13

A graduate speaks at the open mic.
The open microphone, where graduate may speak for a moment, is one of the unique elements of Penn State York's commencement.
5/10/2011 —

Joel M. Rodney, chancellor of Penn State York, is the commencement speaker when the campus celebrates its 41st annual spring commencement at 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, in the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

For those who cannot attend the event, Penn State York's commencement can be viewed on Comcast cable channel 18 and streaming on the website at www2.yk.psu.edu/commencement.

In addition to hearing from Rodney, Penn State York will continue its tradition of the open microphone where graduates can speak for a moment. Christopher E. Balderson, Red Lion, Pa., the top associate degree graduate; Katie L. Rice, Mount Joy, Pa., the top baccalaureate degree graduate; and Kristin N. Stasko, York, Pa., representing the master’s degree graduates will also say a few words.

Penn State York will award 20 master of education in teaching and curriculum degrees; 73 baccalaureate degrees; 7 in bachelor of arts in communication arts and sciences; 4 bachelor of arts in English; 3 bachelor of arts in letters, arts, and sciences; 17 bachelor of science in business; 9 bachelor of science in electro-mechanical engineering technology; 16 bachelor of science in information sciences and technology; 16 bachelor of science in human development and family studies; and 1 bachelor of science in science. The campus will also award 22 associate degrees: 6 in business administration; 3 in electrical engineering technology; 3 in human development and family studies; 2 in information sciences and technology; 5 in letters, arts, and sciences (liberal arts); and 3 in mechanical engineering technology.

Eleven Penn State York students who completed their work at an upper division campus of Penn State will return to York, their home campus, to receive a degree during the ceremony. Penn State York offers the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors and those students comprise most of the campus.

Rodney, 73, is retiring from the University effective July 31, and has accepted an appointment as visiting director of global partnerships for the University of South Florida Polytechnic in Lakeland, Fl.

Before he leaves, Rodney hopes to have the new certificate in entrepreneurial studies fully developed and operational, advance the goals of Penn State York’s capital campaign, and continue to improve services to students -- especially those from around the world.

Rodney originally came to the campus as the campus executive officer in March 2003 and when the University reorganized in 2005 he was named chancellor of Penn State York.
Under Rodney’s leadership the campus has earned an international designation from the University and the number of international students has grown significantly. Rodney was instrumental in designing a two-plus-two program in 2006 between Penn State and the Vidyalankar School of Information Technology in India that allows students from India to combine their first two years of university education in computer science in India with their final two years in information sciences and technology (IST) at Penn State York. The first students came to York in 2008 and the program continues to be strong.

In addition, Rodney helped found a multi-campus India Initiative which expanded the two-plus-two program in IST to six additional schools in India and now also includes the following Penn State campuses: Berks, Greater Allegheny, Hazleton, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Worthington Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, as well as York.

Also under Rodney’s leadership, the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center (The Pullo Center) on the campus was completed in 2005 and a theatre minor was added to the curriculum at York. The Edward M. Elias Science Building, featuring updated classroom and lab facilities, opened this summer and renovations are under way to the chemistry labs at the campus which will be transformed into a high-tech engineering facility, the Ralph G. and Madeline B. Swenson Engineering Center.

In the community, Rodney’s service is outstanding. He was recently honored by the York County Chamber of Commerce with the Exemplar Award for exemplifying the spirit of the Chamber’s mission and making significant contributions to the business community and enhancing York County’s quality of life. He is a member of the Rotary Club of York and serves on the boards of the Advanced Skills Center in York, the Susquehanna Heritage Trust, the Art Institute of York, and the York Area Regional Charter School. He held several posts including chair-elect, chair and other offices in the York County Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the board of directors and as vice president of the Crispus Attucks Association; he was on the board of directors of the York County Economic Development Corporation.

Rodney also is listed in Who’s Who in America and has served as a U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration grant and program reviewer.

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